My Thai wife used to make fun of me because I made rice with a covered pan. For a couple of years she humored me, then told me she wanted me to get a rice cooker. After looking around some, I chose this one, and I have to give it to her, she was absolutely right. :) It is effortless to make perfect rice every time, once you learn the secret. The secret is to choose the right setting on the machine, and to use less water than you are probably used to. For Thai Jasmine rice, we use 1 measurement of rice to 1.5 measurements of water and use the white setting. (it does not matter if it is a half cup, cup, or one of the rice cookers cups, which is about 3/4 of a cup)
Just for the rice alone, this would be a good purchase, but the truth is, I use it for far more than rice. Being able to wake up to real grits, as opposed to the quick variety, steel cut oatmeal, my wife's rice porridge, etc. are all easily done with this cooker using the porridge setting. One accessory I would definitely recommend is The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook : 250 No-Fail Recipes for Pilafs, Risottos, Polenta, Chilis, Soups, Porridges, Puddings and More, from Start to Finish in Your Rice Cooker which provides a wide variety of possibilities for this handy time-saver. :) At the very least, it will give you ideas for how to use the cooker to widen your possibilities in the kitchen, though you may have to experiment a little with some of the recipes.
BTW...another reviewer said it was 'fussy to clean'. I HATE washing dishes, and I find it easy to clean. Remove the pan, wipe it down, remove the lid and wash with a kitchen sponge, rinse and dry, wipe down the lid of the cooker, and put it back together. All in all, it takes about a minute and a half. Heh, I do not consider that 'fussy'. :)